Many journalists probably never saw this coming: A 92,000-page mammoth of a read suddenly supplanting their best beach book of the summer, whatever that was. Now on everyone’s reading list: Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010, released — er, leaked — by the online tattletale, WikiLeaks.
There went their plans to relax in the sand and by the surf with Dean Koontz’s or Scott Turow’s latest – or whatever page-turner Oprah had recommended.
If your dozing, lobster-red-by-now carcass has been slumped over in the lounge chair by the pool these last two weeks, allow me to bring you up to speed: Afghan War Diary is the Big Read comprising tens of thousands of soldier- and intelligence officer-written reports mainly describing military activity involving U.S. fighting forces in Afghanistan over the last six years.
WikiLeaks, you might be interested to know, originates from Iceland, an island which has been making news this year with an unusual, if slightly alarming, frequency (First, that damn unpronounceable volcano that shut down air traffic, now this online snitch domain that has quickly become a nasty case of athlete’s foot between Uncle Sam’s toes.).
Usually we don’t hear a peep out of Iceland or things Icelandic, which is what the Pentagon and the Obama administration wish right now was the case.
The “leak” is quite a download, if you dare: 75 hard drive space-monopolizing megabytes. (Warning: While your curiosity might be all “yes! yes!” your balking computer might be more like “no! no!”)
Sorry, WikiLeaks, but 92,000 reports?! I zoned out at around number 12, meaning I’ve got 91,988 to go. Shit.
Well, at this rate, I should be finished just as the war in question is entering its 37th year. And President Sasha Obama is Commander-in-Chief.
From my reporter’s perspective, I imagined the team of poor schmucks at The New York Times whose assignment editor instructed them to file the story on this (“I need you all to go to this site, read over those reports, make some sense of ‘em, then give me a six-column-spread write-up for page one. Get on it!”).
And I’ve delightfully daydreamed what if WikiLeaks were to get their sly little cyber hands on every secret document, report, and email from every mayor’s, city manager’s, commissioner’s, city attorney’s, and city department head’s office across the length and breadth of Miami-Dade County. We’d likely have enough sleazy, Sunshine Law-evading, slick-as-the-spilled-oil-in-the-Gulf shenanigans to read about for quite a while, the likes of which could induce jaw-dropping among even the most stoic, least-rattled local politicos, pundits, and observers.
Carl Hiaasen and Fred Grimm would likely decide to give up, toss their word processors out the window, and retire from investigative journalism altogether. (“Can’t beat that WikiLeaks! They’ve revealed every public corruption and dirty politician story I only wish had been my scoops!”)
These Afghan war reports (yawn) could put one to sleep. They’d make a good antidote to insomnia. But now that the nerds at WikiLeaks have shot their load – all 92,000 reports – whaddaya do for an encore?
How about some suggestions? I know just how they oughta follow this.
May I enthusiastically suggest that breathtakingly alluring krasavitsa, Anna Chapman? Let’s see some secrets spilled about the notorious, flame-haired, green-eyed Ruskie spy, the babelicious bombshell who was busted by the feds and spy-swapped to Russia. The sexiest she-spy since Mata Hari. Or since the TV show actually named She Spies.
I’ll take 92,000 pages of that red hot femme fatale any day. Even if all they managed to dig up was as mundane as her grocery store receipts.
I haven’t gotten this excited over a spy since husky-voiced Natasha Fatale (of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame) – but one can’t get too horny over a cartoon character. (If you can, I’d keep that a secret were I you. Especially from WikiLeaks. Do think about seeking professional help, okay?)
But Anna’s the real flesh-and-blood thing. Woo-wee!
If only that motley Russian spy ring she was caught up with (so clumsy at spying that their nickname is The Gang That Couldn’t Spook Straight) had waited a few weeks for the WikiLeaks leak, they could have stocked up on all the secrets they ever might have imagined toting home to Moscow and turning over to Boss Agent Boris. And just think: All the effort that would’ve been required of them – just a few easy keystrokes on a computer!
Some other suggestions of what inquiring minds might REALLY want WikiLeaks to reveal:
- How the hell did yahoos like Jon and Kate Gosselin get to be so famous – and for doing or achieving what, pray tell? (Anybody?) And – more scary – why does it seem this whole frickin’ country, with the exception of me, cares about them?
- Ditto the cast of Jersey Shore.
- What are Anna Chapman’s favorite purchases from the Victoria Secret catalog? And do any photos exist of her modeling them?
- What backroom machinations led up to the Miami City Commission’s hasty vote to approve those two skyscraper-sized electronic ad billboards for downtown, rushing a decision before any substantial public discussion could take place and despite the likelihood of the feds, the state, or the county squashing the plan while still in the nest?
- Will Jennifer Aniston ever find a man? (Come on over, Jen, you can cry on my shoulder anytime. Bring your toothbrush. And slippers.)
- What are Anna Chapman’s favorite desserts – and would any of them happen to include strawberries, say, dipped in whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup, eaten off her naked chest as she lies splayed out on a satin-sheeted, rose petal-strewn bed?
- How did Lindsay Lohan bide her time in jail? (Bet it didn’t include reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Or The Thinking Person’s Guide to Sobriety.)
- Almost as impossible to procure as one of FDR in his wheelchair, or of JFK smoking weed, or of LBJ mounting one of his secretaries in the Oval: A pic of Obama in the Rose Garden or wherever, sneaking a smoke.
And, what brand of cancer stick does our Puffer-in-Chief prefer? Find out for us, WikiLeaks!
- What are Anna Chapman’s thoughts on the possible expansion of NATO membership for former Warsaw Pact countries and its ramifications for the future of U.S.-Russian relations? And does she ever entertain these thoughts, perchance, while sunbathing semi-nude, poolside, and sipping a piña colada through a straw, as a dollop of Hawaiian Tropic is smeared over every contour of her water drop-glistening anatomy?
- Just what the hell is up with Mel Gibson?
- Settle this once and for all: Is Ann Coulter really a man? I mean, her (or his) gender is wildly speculated about on the net. Even if she is an incredibly, stupendously, obnoxiously, wacky, reich-wing, big-mouthed, one-woman lunatic fringe all to herself, she’s still easy on the eyes. But a man?
If anybody can clear this up, I know who can. WikiLeaks – Get on it!
- And while we’re on the subject of gender uncertainty, is Justin Bieber a girl or a boy? (That, too, is being speculated.)
- What library books did Anna Chapman check out while stateside – not so much those on international affairs and geopolitics, but, rather, any self-help’s like Dr. Ruth’s Guide to Good Sex and The Fine Art of Erotic Talk?
- How exactly does a conspiring cabal of Miami Beach civic and business leaders propose to hoist on us unsuspecting schmoes the sellout and demolition of the Jackie Gleason? Will it happen while we’re asleep or distracted? Drugged and sedated? And – once we’ve awakened from the anesthesia – does their fiendish plot call for rendering us oblivious to the fact that anything untoward ever happened at all while we were knocked out?
- What are Anna Chapman’s favorite movie videos – and has she, by any chance, ever viewed, say, Carmen Electra’s Aerobic Striptease? If so, would she consider posting her own attempts to master this art on YouTube?
Now if you think this entire column has been nothing less than a covert excuse to coax my wonderful, adorable editor into gratuitously posting here – all for my personal satisfaction – a photo of those captivating eyes, tantalizingly-tempting lips, luscious red locks, and the bewitching face of that spy who (I only wish) loved me, why, who am I to keep a secret from you all? You’ve found me out. Guess I’m no worse at keeping a secret than Anna was.
And no better at spilling one than WikiLeaks.